Mehriban Aliyeva: ensuring women's active participation in all spheres is priority task of Azerbaijan
Ensuring active participation of women in all spheres of public life is a priority task of the Azerbaijani authorities, Azerbaijan's First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva said in her congratulatory letter to the participants of the 5th Women’s Forum dedicated to the centenary of granting suffrage to Azerbaijani women.
The message was read out by chairwoman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova.
"The forum is taking place during the days which are very significant for Azerbaijan. Our country celebrates the centenary of a great historic event. One hundred years ago, on May 28, 1918, leading political and public figures of our country, adopting the Declaration on the Independence of Azerbaijan announced the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic," she recalled.
"All the attributes of the statehood - the coat of arms, the flag, the anthem, the national army and the monetary unit - were established in the young republic. Such values of our people as love of freedom, dignity, tolerance and respect for women were reflected in the state-building in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. For the first time in the Muslim East, a democratic republic with a multi-national and multi-party parliament was created. Namely then, 100 years ago, a very progressive decision was made ahead of time in the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic - for the first time in the Muslim East, much earlier than in the US and many European countries, women, along with men, received the right to elect and be elected in the independent Azerbaijan," the first vice president noted.
Mehriban Aliyeva said that the Azerbaijani people had been on their path to this memorable date, May 28, 1918, for many years. "Already in the second half of the 19th century, a process of national revival took place among the leading public figures of Azerbaijan," she stressed. "Leading public figures of Azerbaijan considered women’s education, the struggle for their social, political, civil rights and expansion of educational opportunities for them one of the most important tasks. Through the efforts of philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, a secular women’s school - the first one in the Muslim East - opened in 1901. In the second decade of the 20th century, the first newspapers and magazines devoted to the status of women began to be published. All this created important foundations both for the proclamation of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and for the adoption of a historic decision by the leadership of the young republic to grant Azerbaijani women voting rights equal to the voting rights of the men," the first vice president recalled.
"Illiteracy was eliminated and great development took place in education, healthcare and science. Azerbaijani women received new opportunities for education and realization of their creative potential. They learned new professions and studied new spheres of activity. Female pilots of military and civil aviation, female doctors, engineers, lawyers and scientists emerged. Measures for social protection of mother and child were strengthened," Alieva said.
"These results achieved in the years of the existence of the USSR, got their second wind today,” says the letter. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, our country regained its statehood and independence. The state symbols of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic - its hymn, the coat of arms and the flag were restored. Modern Azerbaijan is an established and dynamically developing state. Under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, our country made great strides in its socio-economic development. Over the past 10 years, Azerbaijan’s economy grew threefold, 1.5 million new jobs were opened, and thousands of schools, hospitals and sports complexes were built. Today, the priority task for the Azerbaijani leadership in the country, where the equality of rights of women and men was achieved 100 years ago, is to ensure the active participation of women in all spheres of public life. This task is a priority for the country’s leader as well," the first vice president stressed.
"Back in March 2000, national leader Heydar Aliyev signed an order on a new state policy in relation to women. The order’s goal was to achieve proportional representation of women in power structures, business and economy. Today, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, much work is being done to enhance the social protection of women and improve their social and economic situation. Reducing the poverty level from 49 percent to just 5.4 percent, raising salaries and pensions, and increasing the social protection of citizens – all this directly relates to our women as well. The issue of women’s employment in Azerbaijan, including in the districts, is also being successfully solved. The women’s political, economic and public activity is growing," the letter says.
"A hundred years ago, in the days when the first pages of the history of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic were being written, the elimination of illiteracy among the women, the expansion of their access to education and healthcare were the most important tasks. Today, most doctors and teachers in Azerbaijan are women. The number of female scientists, civil servants, law enforcement officers, public figures is growing. There are also MPs, members of the Supreme Court, employees of the executive authorities among the Azerbaijani women. There is no sphere of activity closed or banned for women in Azerbaijan," she added.
"Over the past year, Azerbaijan accumulated truly unique experience in successfully ensuring women’s rights, their active participation in public and political life. In a world where discrimination still exists, where most women and girls still don’t have access to education, where their basic rights aren’t protected, this experience is still in demand and relevant. I am confident that our joint efforts will help solve the problems that women face in many regions of the world," Mehriban Aliyeva expressed confidence.
"Dear women, I wish you all success, peace, prosperity and happiness. Once again, I congratulate you on our state holiday, the Republic Day," the congratulatory letter to the participants of the 5th Women’s Forum dedicated to the centenary of granting suffrage to Azerbaijani women says.